RIP Michael Apted, director of the decades-spanning documentary series Up

We've lost another brilliant visionary. British filmmaker Michael Apted has passed away at age 79.

In 1964, Apted turned his camera on to capture the hopes and dreams of 14 7-year-olds from different socioeconomic backgrounds for the first time with Seven Up!, launching an unparalleled documentary project that would go on to span 56 years. Every seven years since that initial encounter, he followed up with the subjects to see where life has taken them (though some of the originals dropped out – Charles Furneaux hasn't appeared since 21 Up), ending with 2019's poignant 63 Up.

Apted was a talented director of narrative films as well, including Coal Miner's Daughter, Nell, and Gorillas in the Mist.